Special Sections » Rochester Fringe Festival

Frank reviews Teressa Wilcox Band, Violet Mary, the Heroic Enthusiasts, and The Campbell Brothers


I've been going to see Teressa Wilcox since she was a teenage chick with a pick. And her voice's timbre has always taken a back seat to her gentle phrasing. But not tonight, Jack. Homegirl was on the Gibbs Street Stage just a-belting it out. And her band ratcheted it up to help serve Wilcox's deep dish rock 'n' roll to a large and enthusiastic crowd.

Violet Mary followed Wilcox and laid it down so hard that the little kids flipping their little lids in front of the stage couldn't decide whether to play air guitar or air drums and just opted instead to jumping up and down like rabid pogo sticks. The whole band was tighter than a mosquito's ass but I couldn't take my eyes of Mike Muscarella's hands as he molested his Les Paul ferociously. Great tone too, by the way.

Next it was down to Bernunzio's where they hang fine furniture from the walls. Heroic Enthusiasts were rockin' the joint when I came in, painting the air with some deceptively simple 80's type pop. It had an air of jangly sophistication that was neither arrogant nor complicated. Cool, cool, cool.

Back to the Main stage for The Campbell Brothers preaching the loud, fast, slippery gospel. Finally something loud enough to drown out the boisterous, bumbling bible beaters on the corner of Gibbs and Main. Whaddaya know; the word of god trumped by the word of god. I have seen the light.

In This Guide...

  • Adam reviews "Spoon River Rochester" and "Bushwacked"

    Combining aspects of a flash mob, performance art, and historical ghost walk, the wonderfully eerie "Spoon River Rochester" adapts the text of Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology" with a cast of over 150 actors (including Mayor Lovely Warren) delivering poems from the work, each one an epitaph of a single resident of the titular, fictional small town. Dressed all in white and shades of gray, faces painted pale, each holding a single candle, the performers are certainly striking to look at.

  • David reviews "Chocolate Casi Amargo," "You Are Where," and "M.I.A."

    I only know a few words of Spanish, but I really enjoyed "Chocolate Casi Amargo," ("Chocolate, Almost Bitter"), a one-act written and directed by Candide Carrasco and presented Saturday afternoon on the TheaterRocs Stage at Xerox Auditorium. The play has no plot to speak of, it's just a late-night conversation between a long-married couple, Isabel (Elena Nápoles Goldfeder) and Francisco (Rubén Lorenzo Gómez).

  • Rebecca reviews "Moment of Impact"

    Created and performed by Bronwyn Sims of Strong Coffee Stage Company, "Moment of Impact" is a strange, multimedia, one-woman show that explores how trauma experienced and tragedy witnessed can change the trajectory of a life. Inspired by real events, the story is told through the creative use of a sparse set, theater, dance, and aerial acrobatics.

  • Casey reviews "Garth Fagan Dance: Up Close & Personal"

    Experiencing Garth Fagan Dance perform is a little bit like coming home, especially when you live in Rochester where the cutting edge contemporary dance company (now in its 44th year) also resides and works. Familiar dancers, familiar pieces, familiar Fagan -- both wise and jocular in his comments and anecdotes.

  • Adam reviews "140 Characters or Less" and 20 Penny Circus

    The second social media-centric comedy show of my Fringe Festival experience this year, "140 Characters or Less: A Twitter Comedy Show" delivered the #funny. Hosted by comedian Dario Josef with a rotating cast of local stand-ups, the show shares some DNA with Comedy Central's popular "@midnight" program -- mixing Twitter-based humor with traditional stand-up comedy.

  • Casey reviews Biodance and "Diaghilesque"

    All of Rochester could have been lit by the energy Biodance exuded at GEVA's Nextstage last night. The show reminded me of a collection of excellent short stories.

  • Rebecca reviews "Merged II"

    The final Fringe Festival performance of "Merged II" was presented on Wednesday night at Geva'sNextstage. This deeply moving and visually stunning series of performances was a fantastic celebration of the human body's capabilities to strive and express and explore and persevere.

  • David reviews "The Cougar and the Cabana Boy"

    If you're not quite ready to say goodbye to summer, slip on your flip-flops and catch one of the remaining performances of "The Cougar and the Cabana Boy" at Xerox Auditorium. This original musical by Dresden Engle and J. Daniel Lauritzson features a very agreeable cast and a story as light and colorful as the beach balls that get thrown around in one of the big numbers.

  • Photos from "TriviaCITY"

    CITY Newspaper's second annual trivia night at the Rochester Fringe Festival featured 17 teams competing at 5 rounds of questions about Rochester, the Fringe, and weird-knowledge trivia. Questions ranged from disco-song-origins, to fill-in-the-blank limericks on notable Rochesterians, a visual round of local logos, and a test of knowledge on the history of the Erie Canal.